Some of you might remember that earlier this year I trained as a doula. The training was absolutely phenomenal (I’ve recommended it to friends!) and although I haven’t wanted to practice yet as Frida is still very young, I’ve incorporated lots of what I have learnt into my Hypnobirthing teaching with great feedback.
Anyway, I’m very happy to tell you all that I’ve started working – very part time – doing some press and PR for the utterly lovely Kicki Hansard, the hugely experienced doula and doula trainer who runs BirthBliss and who trained me earlier this year.
Although I have had no regrets about leaving my old job as a senior Government press officer, I have at times felt a bit sad that my press and PR skills were going to gradually collect dust until they were no longer useful or relevant. This role brings together my passion for birth and motherhood, and my past experience, so I couldn’t be happier about these particular stars aligning!
I’m very lucky – my husband works compressed hours over four days, and my mum comes up for an afternoon most weeks – meaning we don’t need to use childcare in order to make this work.
I’m not going to sugar coat it, it is hard to juggle everything, despite having brilliant support. I often feel horrific guilt about something, whether it’s working when I know my daughter is not feeling well and would really like mummy cuddles, or cleaning the house (again! Honestly, how is it possible to spend so much cleaning and tidying and still have a house which still only looks about 60% neat at any given time?) when I feel like I should be focusing on playing with Frida, or on resting when I should be trying to develop my own business, or planning posts for this blog. And I pretty much always feel like I should be spending more energy on being a great wife! I try to tell myself that it’s not possible to give 100% to everything, but I still feel bad about it.
Still, I am trying to learn to be gentle with myself, and remind myself that I am setting an example to Frida with everything I do. I want her to see that life – work, motherhood, dare I say it even housework – can be fulfilling, and should be approached positively. I definitely don’t always get it right though.
How do you stay balanced? Any tips for dealing with the mum guilt?